Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is not entitled to contest the forfeiture of an estimated $67 million in frozen assets because he’s a fugitive facing extradition, a federal judge ruled.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady comes even as Dotcom continues to fight his extradition from New Zealand to the United States.
The federal government has been pursuing claims against Megaupload and Dotcom for years, charging they are engaged in an international criminal conspiracy to profit from widespread copyright infringement and launder the proceeds.
Prosecutors estimate Dotcom has defrauded copyright holders out of more than $500 million.
In an indictment unsealed in February 2012, Dotcom, whose given name is Kim Schmitz, was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, aiding and abetting of copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering. A separate indictment added wire fraud charges to the list.